Taylor Swift’s new album, Evermore, is now available! And, to celebrate the thrilling surprise release, we’ve prepared a reading list of five unforgettable books to indulge in while listening to her newest atmospheric and earthy songs.
Following in the footsteps of it’s July sister album, Folklore, this new collection of music was a welcome surprise to Swift fans, and again imbued with some of her softer, indie and earthy vibes. And, while Swifts many previous albums all stood apart from one another in terms of energy and even genre, these most recent two albums stand on their own in an entirely new way. Evermore’s album cover features Swift standing in a forest clearing with her back to the camera, wearing a plaid coat and simple french braid. This new musical collection is embellished with these same minimalist and contemplative themes. Folklore introduced the indie/folk ambiance that Swift is so effortlessly adopting, and Evermore continues the pattern of slow building sensitivity while adding vocals and lyrics similar to Swift’s original country ballads. And the album’s namesake song, “Evermore,” featuring Bon Iver, bridges all gaps between pop and indie that remained after Folklore’s release. What an exciting new flavor for fans of Swift’s explorations with music.
Check out this book list for the perfect reading session while listening the newest Taylor Swift flow, Evermore!
Jump into nature with Taylor Swift’s Evermore and John Krakaur’s Into the Wild. What better way to celebrate the exploration of new musical territory than with a book devoted to the complete immersion into nature itself? Into the Wild tells of a wealthy young man’s departure from civilization and convenience, and his adventure through the Alaskan wilderness. Relying on instinct, survival skills and pure luck, Christopher Johnson McCandleless leaves his cultural identity behind him and becomes one with the wild world.
Even modern music can recall the classics. Charlotte brontës gothic novel, Wuthering Heights, captures the somberly romantic themes carried throughout all of Evermore, and expresses the earth-toned, minimalistic vibes with its themes of nature and relationships in upheaval. Coincidentally, “Upheaval” is the song that draws the strongest parallels between Catherine and Heathcliff’s childhood upbringing and its pensive lyrics that call to life in another time: “Wait by the door like I’m just a kid. Use my best colors for your portrait.”
Evermore has no end to seafaring references. Her intro song, “Willow,” beings with the line “I’m like the water when your ship rolled in that night.” And “Gold Rush” possesses much of the airy vocal tones that Swift is famous for. These atmospheric melodies are like the soft crashing of waves, singing of coastal towns, grey scenery, and “ships on waters, so inviting I almost jump in.” In her song “Evermore,” Swift sings, “When I was shipwrecked, I thought of you,” alongside Bon Iver, who’s icy voice adds an authentic element to the song’s imagery. She continually speaks to a life of ocean-side adventure. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick is an award-winning book about the lore of whaling and the true story of the 1820 whaleship, Essex, and its demise by way of an angry sperm whale.
Swift’s songs in Evermore not only take the listener into nature- in both the wilds of forests and the destructiveness of the sea, but they also lure one into another world entirely. Her whimsical instrumentals, magical melodies and darker moods are reflected in the labyrinthine and mystical tale of Pan’s Labryinth. While entering a new world is thrilling beyond words, it also can be dangerous. Delving into the heart of a song, or story, is like venturing toward the heart of the self. Pans Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funk is the novelized version of Guillermo del Toro’s famous fantasy film of the same name.
We can’t have a nature-y reads list without topping it off with Walden by Henry David Thoreau. When you’re completely immersed in Swift’s pensive new album, delving into Thoreau’s praised and often perplexing book of contemplations on nature, humanity, civilization and purpose can be just the right mood. “I wish to know the fatal flaw that makes you long to be magnificently cursed,” Swift sings in her song “Ivy;” a poetic and philosophical notion reminiscent of Thoreau’s own meditations. “My house of stone, your ivy grows and now I’m covered,” she refrains, bringing to mind the little stone hut that he called home in his most famous work.
The folklore–evermore era has been one marked by a spirit of artistic freedom. Unbound by pop convention, and perhaps with newfound commercial flexibility – with the success of folklore as proof of surprise-release viability – Swift is able to both explore abstract turns of phrase (“gold rush”) and unfurl narratives (“champagne problems”). On both albums, she’s been permitted to play with sound and texture in a way that feels uncharacteristic of contemporary radio pop.
Dive into the earthy vibes and rhythmic rumination of Taylor Swift’s new album Evermore with these five reads!